Is America A Plutocracy?

Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2003 09:30 pm
Is America A Plutocracy? by James Glaser
July 16, 2002

Plutocracy -- Government by the wealthy; a ruling class of wealthy people
I would like to say no, but any sort of look at Washington will tell you different. Our current administration is pretty much made up of wealthy corporate executives, both friends of the President and his father. Almost the second coming of the first Bush Administration in some areas.

Wealthy, what is wealthy? Up here in Northern Minnesota, those that have their farm or home paid for are about close as we get to wealthy. There are a few local business men that we think are wealthy, but none of them have that extra ten thousand dollars that George Bush wanted, to get a picture taken with him as he toured Minnesota, one day this week. Vice President Dick Cheney was reported to make 37 million dollars his last year before running for office. So up here he would be real wealthy.

Most of those in the Senate have a few million. Paul Wellstone, our Senior Senator's best paying job ever is his job as a Senator, so he would not be wealthy. Many of the people that work for our government in Washington, would, just with their government jobs, be wealthy with that pay up here. It does depend on where you live when we determine wealth. We have clean water, no crime, peace and quiet, and good soil with few pollutants.

So I guess we are wealthy too. No amount of money could buy those things in a lot of places in America. It is a stretch to believe that those in Washington can have any understanding of what life for those at the other end of the economy is like. Millions of Americans are just one pay check away from the "wolf." Something like 40 million Americans have no health insurance.

Think about this. If you work for a city, county, state, or the federal government you have a 99% chance of having really good family health coverage, but don't even think about universal health care. That is because those in government have no way of even understanding what it is like not to have coverage. Also there is some really big money involved and that big money is not about to let everyone in a a total group plan.

Even in America to have "haves" you must also have "have nots." If every one had money then the rich would not have the power that they have. Wealth has nothing to do with effort in America. In our system a person can work his butt off and just get by, others do little, but because of circumstances that maybe they had nothing to do with, they are very successful. Your dad is President, Senator, Congressman, Judge, or maybe just a big shot, you get the breaks. In a real war you won't have to go. People can and do make their way from the lower levels to the top, all the time in America. That is what America is all about, but don't kid yourself for one minute that we are on a level playing field.

America is the same as any country now and in the past. Those with money run the show. That goes for Government and business. Those with money tend to look out for their kids and their friends kids first. That isn't wrong, but the way it is. Our President is a real prime example of this. Nothing against him, but if his father wasn't President, his dad's friends didn't pony up money,

George would be a MBA in middle management. America's system works, but wealthy run the show, however they don't have a "lock box" on that wealth. As long as some Americans can crawl their way to the top the system will stay in place. Yes we have that Plutocracy, when it comes to running America. Unlike other countries America still has that small door that some can enter to get to the top. Sure hope they don't lock it.


"The haves and have mores, that's my base." GW Bush
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Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 08:44 am
Dear Pistoff,
As you've rightly pointed out that the rich people rule the society throughout the World.The interesting thing is that even people who start off as poor, they're rich already by the time they reach the top by hook or crook.It looks like a natural phenomenon!
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Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 08:47 am
I don't want poor people making decisions for me. Obviously they can't make decisions for themselves or they would be wealthy.

I find that wealthy people who have made their own money, not inherited it are smarter than poor people who have earned it, not inherited it. That's just the way it is.

You can call it a turd if you want, but that doesn't make it one.
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Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2003 09:14 am
if you were to take all the money in the world, pool it, and divide it up equally among all the peoples of the world (The ultra Leftists wet dream) what do you think the situation would be like in 10 years?

Thats right, there would be rich people and poor people in the world.

There would be people who are both motivated and committed enough to start businesses and they would have the drive and dedication needed to be successful. Those same people would end up with the lions share of the money. This is how the system works people. If you have dedication and drive, you too can be a success and be rich. If all you do is sit back and complain about how unfair the world is to you and how the rich get everything and the poor get nothing ...... well ......


The world has given you the opportunity for unlimited potential if you just stop bitching and DO SOMETHING.

But in Pistoff's little Leftist Utopian Dream World the rich never work for anything (every rich person must have inherited their wealth from a line of inheritor ancestors) and the poor are poor because of some plot by the rich to keep them there. I guess the only way for Pist's little world to work is to redistribute the wealth of the world every few years so everyone (even the lazy and incompetent) have money.
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Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 06:30 am
Rich, Middle Class, Poor
Why is everyone only mentioning poor people?

America is spozed to "Of the people, for the people and by the people." No one believes this concept?
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Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 06:53 am
I believe in it, but I believe people who are successful are better equipped to create an environment for success. If a man can't balance his own checkbook, he certainly has no business administering the community chest. Pretty good article other than this statement: "Wealth has nothing to do with effort in America". While that may be true of some, many do earn their wealth and should be recognized accordingly. He also neglects to point out that the poorest of our poor are still pretty rich by world standards. Ask someone in the Congo what its like to be poor.
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Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 03:22 pm
Of course...
there are more poor in the world than there are middle class nad for sure wealthy. It is a matter of comparisons. I haven't studied the stats but it seems that in America there are more people in the Middle Class catagory than there are poor. Didn't America fight a bitter 12 year war to get rid of being ruled by a Monarchy? Because the rich can do so is it ethically correct that the rich should be our rulers?
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Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2003 04:45 pm
pistoff, you make an excellent point about the US's large percentage of middle class people (by world standards at least). But you forget that we all get to vote for who is our leader. Now, I know you don't think George won the last election; but surely you realize that if the middle and lower classes were against him; it would have been a landslide the other way. My favorite presidential candidate in history was probably the richest candidate in history; Ross Perot. I reasoned that any self-made billionaire with an impeccable record would probably be the hardest man to buy. Being rich didn't make him King. Even if he was elected; he would still have to survive our scrutiny in 4 years, and couldn't even run again after 8. This is a far cry from Monarchy. In this capitalist society we use the almighty dollar as a measuring stick¬Ö and rightly so. When it comes to deciding who should administer the community chest; I will likely continue to put some emphasis on the personal success of the candidates.
I would however support a bill that mandated the public pick up the cost of campaigns. Give a very limited amount of air time (television/radio/newspaper) to each of the top ten candidates in terms of internet/paper petition endorsements¬Ö Then give them unlimited space on the World Wide Web. Set up public computer stations (for those who don't have a computer), and let interested people examine the candidates for themselves. Heck, once you work out the kinks in the system, I could see it replacing congress with the people they supposedly represent. Only those who cared to research would bother to vote. How much money do you think that would save?
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Restless Mind
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2004 08:12 pm
The description of our current "Plutocracy" reminds me of the wild animal world, where each one has his social rank and knows where it stands. Neither system has a great deal of respect for equality or compassion. All part of nature as I understand it, but should it remain this way?
There are many great thoughts concerning plutocracy in America, and the idea of wealth distibution. One especially interesting idea is the one about everyone having the same amount of money, only to have everything "as is" in ten years. I too believe this would happen, but there are other points I question.
One point is the conscience-easing exercise of comparing the destitute of the world with the American poor; and believing that people are poor because all of them are "lazy and incompetent." The U. S. has tremendous wealth, and some folks even see America as a Christian nation. Because of this, I feel embarrassed to learn that about 40 million people in this great country have no medical insurance, and there is a steady increase in the number of the "working poor."
I agree that the wealthy are generally motivated, committed, dedicated etc.; but I don't think most of them deserve the "purity" label, or that they can claim all the credit for their acconplishnments. The wealthy in general are not known for their generosity, giving a far lower percentage of their income to charity than the general population.
I do recognize that the poor often are less intelligent, thereby having more trouble earning money - and are less able to keep the wealthy from taking it away from them. Moreover, when the rich make bad choices they can buy there way out.
Few rich people will attribute any portion of their success to luck, such as; where and when they were born, parents involvement in their upbringing, intelligence and emotional stability, and financial situation (money for family illness) they were born into. And most important, there own health.
As to the comment that there is no "plot by the rich to keep" the poor down, I see signs that this isn't entirely true. Many large corporations give millions of dollars annually to union-busting firms, and many more millions to influence lawmakers; and even receive the help of police and the military to jail protesters and dissidents, while not paying a fair share of U. S. taxes. For hundreds of years the "underlings" were kept uneducated and were refused a vote - and not many people were concerned when the "strong spirited" were hung.
We need to work toward building a society with a lot larger middle class so most Americans will rise and fall together if more of us ride in the same boat.
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Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2004 08:15 pm
"Work for and trust the powerful few
What's best for them is best for you." - Marat/Sade
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:57 pm
Marat we're poor

And the poor stay poor

We want our rights and we dont care how

we want a revolution

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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:58 pm
I don't want McGentrix setting my agenda.

People who print their own money don't impress me that much.
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